The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has charged Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, to immediately come clean on reports in the public space that N4.6 billion public funds was diverted into private accounts during his tenure as Minister of Power, Works and Housing.
The party also charged the Buhari presidency to speak out on the report, which it alleged has further exposed the rot and humongous corruption going on in ministries, department and agencies under the watch of the presidency.
PDP called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to take steps to invite Fashola and all those mentioned in the alleged fraud and ensure that the law takes its course on any one found wanting.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday, the opposition party noted: “Nigerians were shocked by the revelations that between September and December 2019 alone, the sum of N4.6 billion was stolen through fraudulent payments in 654 tranches, without any explanatory details, to 21 private accounts belonging to some faceless individuals and certain directors in the then Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, under Fashola.”
According to the party, “It is indeed appalling and of course revealing that such huge fraud, which is in direct contravention of Sections 7, 701 and 713 of the nation’s financial regulations reportedly occurred under Fashola’s watch.”
The party noted that Section 713 clearly provides that no “public money shall be paid into a private bank account” and that “an official who pays public money into a private account is deemed to have done so with fraudulent intentions”.
The party invited Nigerians to note that the pattern and route of the alleged fraud pointed to a high level conspiracy to funnel out funds from the ministry to service some higher interests, which must be unraveled and the funds immediately recovered.
“Nigerians can now see why the nation’s power, housing and road infrastructure had remained in shambles despite the huge resources allocated for development under the Buhari administration,” the PDP added.
The party said that such fraudulent activities accounted for “why our nation has been reduced to a beggar and why resources never get to projects for which they were voted under the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“If a whooping N4.6 billion is exposed to have been stolen in a space of two months in one ministry, one can only imagine how much has been stolen in the last five years in various ministries and departments by officials of the Buhari administration,” it added.
The PDP described as worrisome “the silence by Fashola and the Buhari presidency over this very weighty revelation that is heightening apprehensions of complicity in the public space.”
CREDIT: GUARDIAN NG